Weston-super-Mare will once again become the home of street art when the team behind Upfest, Europe’s largest street art festival heads to the coast for the return of Weston Wallz.
After the successful launch in September 2021, Upfest has once again partnered with Weston-super-Mare Town Council and Culture Weston, with the latest murals set to be painted from the 23rd to the 31st July.
Armed with sunscreen, spray paint and brushes, the artists for the second edition of this initiative have officially been confirmed – with some of Europe’s finest heading down to the seaside to unleash creativity on Weston’s most iconic buildings and landmarks.
This year, visitors and residents alike can see the talents of Insane51 travelling over from Athens alongside UK and Local artists, Aspire, Caryn Koh, Curtis Hylton, Sian Storey, TeaOne, Vee, Acerone, Bev G Star, Bex Glover, Damien Jefferies, David Puck, Emily Joy Rich, Sophie Long and Paul Monsters making their mark on the iconic North Somerset coastal town with their unique and signature styles. These brand-new murals will join the current artworks on Weston’s street art trail.
Some location highlights include RNLI Gift Shop Marine Lake, the old Oxford Corner Cafe, Olea and Old Post Office Lane to name a few.
Malcolm Nicholson, Town Clerk at Weston Town Council said: “Weston is the perfect place to showcase such diverse, eclectic and thought-provoking artworks. With such a great response to Weston Wallz last year and the continuous investment into the town, it’s a fantastic opportunity to grow Weston’s cultural identity and attract new visitors.”
Tom Newman, Culture Weston Programme Manager said “We’re excited to be supporting Upfest in bringing the second edition of Weston Wallz to the town and for a new, eclectic range of artwork to be unveiled that will transform more of Weston’s walls and hidden corners. It is brilliant to showcase so many great artists, and for residents and visitors to be able to enjoy the art throughout the summer and beyond. And with the arrival of SEE MONSTER, Weston is buzzing with loads of fantastic community events”
Upfest co-founder, Steve Hayles, said: “It feels great to be back in Weston-super-Mare after the success of the 2021 launch. Street art is a great way to engage the community and we’ve chosen a brilliant bunch of street artists to add to an already bustling art scene here in Weston. We’ve had a giant rooster, a geisha and lots of colour, we can’t wait to see what the next round of artists bring to the seafront.”
Insane 51 is the expert when it comes to photorealism and impressive large scale murals. His unique double exposure 3D effect makes his art stand out from the crowd, as 3D glasses add an extra dimension to the viewing experience. Behind the lenses, viewers can see beyond the painted human bodies right through to their skeletons.
David Puck is a British street artist whose work has taken him across the globe, from participating in projects for prestigious international events including both LA and NYC Pride, The Eurovision Song Contest and Ralph Lauren.
They specialise primarily in stunning abstract portraits which explore themes of mental health and queer identity to enhance human connection with street art. While a street artist by day, David switches out the spray-can for make-up brushes to entertain audiences with their cabaret-drag performances.
Capturing life as you’ve never seen it before, Sian Storey is bringing her beautiful nature murals and ethereal colours to Weston Wallz this summer. Specialising in both fauna and flora, Sian’s vibrant artworks have even been featured nationally, including The Guardian and the BBC. Her talent is sure to wow visitors on Weston’s seafront.
Swindon-based artist Caryn Koh will also be joining the Weston Wallz lineup with her touching portraits. Often drawing inspiration from her personal life and relationships, Caryn explores themes of life and death in her emotional murals, implementing three dimensional elements which expand the impact of her artwork into the real-world.
The initiative has been funded by a grant from Weston Town Council and Culture Weston and hopes to further grow the town’s cultural identity, attract new visitors and boost local business.
An interactive Google Map will be launched on Friday 22nd July for trail hunters to easily identify the murals and witness the transformation of ordinary corners becoming landmarks in the town. To keep up to date with Weston Wallz, you can follow the initiative on Twitter and Instagram or visit the Upfest website for more information. Further details will be available at www.cultureweston.org.uk and https://wsm-tc.gov.uk.